A person dressed in a clown costume stands among attendees during the Greenwich Village Halloween Parade in Manhattan, New York, Oct. 31, 2016. Reuters

A new promotional image from the upcoming adaptation of Stephen King's "It" was released Tuesday via social media, showing the story's murderous main character peeping out of a dark sewer pipe.

The lead clown, named Pennywise, originally appeared in author King's 1986 horror novel and was first brought to life by U.K. actor Tim Curry in the 1990 television miniseries of the same name. The plot follows a group of misfit kids in the 1950s who are tormented by the demonic Pennywise, a supernatural clown who lives in the sewers and feeds on children. After managing to expel the clown, the survivors regroup in the 1980s to finish the job when Pennywise returns.

The popular miniseries is widely considered to be one of the most popular screen adaptations of a King story, along with The Shining in 1980 and Misery in 1990. Pennywise, especially Curry's portrayal, has often been cited as the most terrifying clown in pop culture history. The hype for the 2017 feature length production, in which Pennywise is played by Swedish actor Bill Skarsgard, was inflated this year after an apparent pandemic of "creepy clown" sightings struck the nation and reportedly spread abroad as well.

In response to the "hysteria" surrounding clowns, King himself, who suffers from a fear of clowns known as coulrophobia, weighed in. He assured his Twitter followers in October that most clowns simply wanted to "cheer up the kiddies, make people laugh." The makers of the upcoming film have also denied playing any part in the nationwide prank, for which dozens have been arrested across the nation.

The upcoming film adaptation of Stephen King's "It", directed by Argentine filmmaker Andrés Muschietti, is set to hit cinemas next September and will also star Canadian actor Finn Wolfhard of Strangers Things fame and Jaeden Lieberher, known for his roles in St. Vincent and Masters of Sex.